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230 Park Avenue, (Helmsley Building), application to install door and desks

WHEREAS, 230 Park Avenue (between East 45th and East 46th Streets), formerly known as the New York Central Building, built in 1929, then known as the New York General Building, now known as the Helmsley Building, is an individual Landmark, designed by Warren and Wetmore as part of the complex of buildings surrounding Grand Central Station, also designed by these same architects; and

WHEREAS, Certain interior portions of this building, namely public access areas, are also landmarked along with the exterior; and

WHEREAS, The owner is seeking to renovate portions of the lobby to conform to the needs of one of its prime tenants, ING, a financial services company, which requires additional lobby security and reception checkpoints; and

WHEREAS, The owner has applied to eliminate a newsstand in the lobby and substitute a concierge desk in its place; and

WHEREAS, The location has no full door and must be accessed by way of a low half door that must be crawled through to enter and exit the space; and

WHEREAS, The owner has located an unused, original bronze door elsewhere in the building and proposes to utilize this historic element, not currently visible to the public, and place the door discreetly in the rear of the concierge area for access purposes, and still retain the small half door which will no longer be used, but will be kept for historical purposes; and

WHEREAS, The owner has applied to place a small podium type desk at the 45th Street lobby side of the building as a security checkpoint for customers visiting ING; and

WHEREAS, The podium will be designed in materials matching those of an existing podium in the lobby; and

WHEREAS, Although Community Board Five is gravely chagrined that the application was approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission before CB5 had an opportunity to make their recommendation and the LPC refused to hold the matter over despite CB 5's request; and

WHEREAS, The owner came before CB 5's Landmarks Committee, as a courtesy, after the approval, in order for CB 5 to be on the record even after the LPC Hearing; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval of the application to install a door and desks in the lobby of 230 Park Avenue.

The above resolution passed by a vote of 28 in favor; 1 opposed; 1 abstaining.

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